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The Murder of Mary Phagan – Part 11

Concluding this series with some final thoughts on Slaton’s commutation letter (see also Carlos Porter’s transcription), and the closing arguments in Leo Frank’s trial.

There is a noticable shift in Slaton’s attitude as his letter progresses. THE STATE’S CASE, from which selections were read the last time, reviews the most prominent evidence against Frank which didn’t involve Jim Conley: Monteen Stover, the Frank housekeeper (Minola McKnight) and her husband, and Frank’s mishandling of Newt Lee’s time slip. The section labelled JIM CONLEY, which comes next, notes the key role played by Conley, and is where Slaton’s tone turns noticably more skeptical and doubtful.

The most startling and spectacular evidence in the case was that given by a negro, Jim Conley, a man 27 years of age, and one who frequently had been in the chain gang.

Slaton adds here another reason to suspect Frank:

Frank put his character in issue and the State introduced ten witnesses attacking Frank’s character, some of whom were Factory employees, who testified that Frank’s reputation for lasciviousness was bad and some told that he had been making advances to Mary Phagan, whom Frank had professed to the Detectives, either not to have known, or to have been slightly acquainted with. Other witnesses testified that Frank had improperly gone into the Dressing Room of the girls. Some witnesses who answered on direct examination that Frank’s reputation for lasciviousness was bad, were not cross-examined as to details, and this was made the subject of comment before the Jury.

The above states very briefly the gist of the State’s case, omitting many incidents which the State claims would confirm Frank’s guilt when taken in their entirety.

Next comes a section titled DEFENSE, in which Slaton lays out his doubts, almost all of which are related to Conley. Contra Porter, Slaton and the other legal minds involved in the case were well aware of the limitations on an accessory’s testimony:

Wherever a physical fact is stated by Conley, which is admitted, this can be accepted, but under both the rules of law and common sense, his statements cannot be received, excepting where clearly corroborated. He admits not only his participation as an accessory, but also glibly confesses his own infamy.

Slaton considered it likely that Conley lied about Frank dictating the notes and lied about where they were written.


Conley admits he wrote the notes found by the body of Mary Phagan. Did Frank dictate them? Conley swears he did. The State says that the use of the word “did” instead of “done” indicates a white man’s dictation. Conley admits the spelling was his. The words are repeated and are simple, which characterizes Conley’s letters. In Conley’s testimony, you will find frequently that he uses the word “did” and according to calculation submitted to me, he used the word “did” over fifty times during the trial.

While Conley was in jail charged with being an accessory, there was also incarcerated in the jail, a woman named Annie Maude Carter, whom Conley had met at the Court House. She did some work in the jail and formed the acquaintance of Conley, who wrote to her many lengthy letters. These letters are the most obscene and lecherous I have ever read. In these letters, the word “did’ is frequently employed. It will be observed that in Conley’s testimony, he uses frequently the word “negro”, and in the Annie Maude Carter notes, he says, “I have a negro watching you”.

The Annie Maude Carter notes, which were powerful evidence in behalf of the defendant, and which tended strongly to show that Conley was the real author of the murder notes, were not before the jury [underlined in pen in the original].

Though they didn’t know about the Carter notes, is it reasonable to assume that the jury didn’t actually consider that Conley might be lying on this point anyway?


This evidence was never passed upon by the jury and developed since the trial. It was strongly corroborative of the theory of the defense that the death notes were written, not in Frank’s office, but in the basement, and especially in view of the evidence of Police Seargeant Dobbs, who visited the scene of the crime Sunday morning, as follows:

“This scratch pad was also lying on the ground close to the body. The scratch pad was lying near the notes. They were all right close together. There was a pile of trash near the boiler where this note was found, and paper and pencil were down there too”.

This is evidence that Conley decided where to write the notes and what to put in them. Did the jury convict Frank because they mistakely thought he dictated those notes, or did they realize Conley was a liar, could very well have been lying about these aspects of the notes, and convict Frank anyway because of the gist of the prosecution’s argument still fit best?

The evidence shows that Conley was as depraved and lecherous a negro as ever lived in the state of Georgia. He lay in watch and described the clothes and stockings of the women who went to the Factory.

His story necessarily bears the construction that Frank had an engagement with Mary Phagan which no evidence in the case would justify. If Frank had engaged Conley to watch for him, it could only have been for Mary Phagan, since he made no improper suggestion to any other female on that day, and it was undisputed that many did come up prior to 12.00 o’clock, and whom could Frank have been expecting except Mary Phagan under Conley’s story. This view cannot be entertained, as an unjustifiable reflection on the young girl.

Why the negro wrote the notes is a matter open to conjecture. He had been drinking heavily that morning, and it is possible that he undertook to describe the other negro in the building so that it would avert suspicions.

It may yet be possible that his version is correct.

The testimony discloses that he was in the habit of allowing men to go into the basement for immoral purposes for a consideration, and when Mary Phagan passed by him close to the hatchway leading into the basement and in the gloom and darkness of the entrance, [handwritten insertion: Mary? ???] he attacked her. What is the truth we may never know.

Slaton put his conclusion in a section titled JUDICIARY. He commuted Frank’s sentence based on a technicality – he purported a procedural mistake had been made in the original trial – that the judge had thought he must sentence Frank to death if the verdict was guilty. So, based on doubts Slaton thought the judge should have had, which in turn were based on evidence which Slaton himself emphasized was not known to the judge or jury at the time, Slaton changed Frank’s sentence:

Under our statute, in cases of conviction of murder on circumstantial evidence, it is within the discretion of the trial judge to sentence the defendant to life imprisonment (Code Section 63).

The conviction of Frank was on circumstantial evidence, as the Solicitor General admits in his written argument.

Judge Roan, however, misconstrued his power, as evidence by the following charge to the jury in the case of the State against Frank:

“If you believe beyond a reasonable doubt from the evidence in this case that this defendant is guilty of murder, then, you would be authorized in that event to say: ”We, the jury, find the defendant guilty”. Should you go further, gentlemen, and say nothing else in your verdict, the court would have to sentence the defendant to the extreme penalty of murder, to wit: “To be hanged by the neck until he is dead”.

Surely, if Judge Roan entertained the extreme doubt indicated by his statement and had remembered the power granted him by the Code, he would have sentenced the defendant to life imprisonment.

Slaton claimed the judge would have agreed with the change in sentence, but didn’t think the jury would have changed their verdict against Frank:

In the Frank case three matters have developed since the trial which did not come before the jury, to wit: the Carter notes, the testimony of Becker, indicating that the death notes were written in the basement, and the testimony of Dr. Harris, that he was under the impression that the hair on the lathe was not that of Mary Phagan, and thus tending to show that the crime was not committed on the floor of Frank’s office.

While made the subject of an extraordinary motion for a new trial, it is well known that it is almost a practical impossibility to have a verdict set aside by this procedure.

The evidence might not have changed the verdict, but it might have caused the jury to render a verdict with the recommendation of mercy.

In any event, the performance of my duty under the Constitution, is a matter of my conscience. The responsibility rests where the power is reposed. Judge Roan, with that awful sense of responsibility, which probably came over him as he thought of that Judge before whom he would shortly appear, calls to me from another world to request that I do that which he should have done. I can endure misconstruction, abuse and condemnation, but I cannot stand the constant companionship of an accusing conscience, which would remind me in every thought that I, as a Governor of Georgia, failed to do what I thought to be right. There is a territory “beyond a REASONABLE DOUBT and absolute certainty”, for which the law provides in allowing life imprisonment instead of execution. This case has been marked by doubt. The trial judge doubted. Two Judges of the Supreme Court of Georgia doubted. Two Judges of the Supreme Court of the United States doubted. One of the three Prision Commissioners doubted.

In my judgement, by granting a commutation in this case, I am sustaining the jury, the judge, and the appellate tribunals, and at the same time am discharging that duty which is placed on me by the Constitution of the State.

Acting, therefore, in accordance with what I believe to be my duty under the circumstances of this case, it is

ORDERED: That the sentence in the case of Leo M. Frank is commuted from the death penalty to imprisonment for life.

This 21st day of June, 1915.

An article from The Kansas City Star, DID LEO FRANK DICTATE THE MURDER NOTES?: AN ANALYSIS, dated 17 January 1915, is worth noting. It prefigured Slaton’s rationale for doubt, but used Porter-like terms (“absolute” “proof”) to proclaim Frank’s innocence:

Jim Conley, the negro, murdered Mary Phagan, and he described how he slew her in the two notes he wrote and laid beside her body.

Conley is a low, dissolute, brutal negro. He had been in jail different times. He lived with a negro woman not his wife. He drank heavily and was always trying to borrow money from the girls in the factory, where he was a roustabout. His brutal nature is shown by the glib, grinning manner in which he told of carrying the body of the murdered girl to the basement, dropping her with a “thump” upon the floor, handling the body of the pretty, golden haired girls as coldly as if it had been a dead dog.

He was drunk the day of the murder.

Conley’s bad character was well established during the trial. It reflects poorly on Frank, at whose discretion he was employed. Frank’s own questionable character, particularly a prior pattern of lasciviousness directly relevant to the nature of the crime he was on trial for, was also raised during the trial.

Now mark this, it is proof of Frank’s innocence, that pad had printed on the top of every sheet the name of the pencil company and a date. it was a pad used in the office by Superintendent Becker, who preceded Frank as the factory head. All of those pads were carried into the basement two years before, after Frank became superintendent, and ask had new pads printed. There was no paper in Frank’s office like that upon which that note was written. This disproves absolutely the story of the negro that the notes were written in Frank’s office.

Speculation that Conley lied about the how or where of the notes doesn’t “prove” any specific how or where, and certainly doesn’t “prove” that Conley was the murderer, or that Frank was innocent. Such extreme claims do however “prove” the irrational bias of the person who makes them.

Conley’s propensity for lying was openly discussed and acknowledged during the trial. Conley may very well have lied about who conceived the notes and where they were written. This is not a new consideration, nor does it significantly alter the prosecution’s argument, based on other evidence, that Frank was the murderer and Conley, who was Frank’s helper before the murder, was enlisted by Frank to help him afterward.

The negro’s story is so incredible, so absurd, so inconsistent with all the facts, that one wonders that anyone could believe a word of it.

This evaluation of Conley is in direct contrast with Slaton, who reviewed the same facts and had the same dim view of Conley’s character, but came to the opposite conclusion about Conley’s credibility:

It is hard to conceive that any man’s power of fabrication of minute details could reach that which Conley showed, unless it be the truth.

I’ll conclude my own evaluation with a few excerpts and comments on the closing arguments of the attorneys who argued the case.

The following excerpts have been taken from The Leo Frank Trial: Closing Arguments of Hooper, Arnold, and Rosser, by Bradford L. Huie, The American Mercury.

Frank Hooper (prosecution):

You will notice that the defense has pitched its every effort entirely on [James] Jim Conley. I don’t blame them. He was like Stone Mountain is to some highways in its vicinity. They couldn’t get by him. We could have left him out and have had an excellent chain of circumstantial evidence.

All they could say was that Jim had been a big liar. That is true.

Reuben Arnold (defense):

He’s the same sort of a man who believes that there ought to be a hanging because that innocent little girl was murdered, and who would like to see this Jew here hang because somebody ought to hang for it. I’ll tell you right now, if Frank hadn’t been a Jew there would never have been any prosecution against him.

I’m asking my own people to turn him loose, asking them to do justice to a Jew, and I’m not a Jew, but I would rather die before doing injustice to a Jew. This case has just been built up by degrees; they have a monstrous perjurer here in the form of this Jim Conley against Frank. You know what sort of a man Conley is, and you know that up to the time the murder was committed no one ever heard a word against Frank.

In circumstantial cases you can’t convict a man as long as there’s any other possible theory for the crime of which he is accused, and you can’t find Frank guilty if there’s a chance that Conley is the murderer. The state has nothing on which to base their case but Conley, and we’ve shown Conley a liar.

Luther Rosser (defense):

There are several things I don’t understand about this case, and never will. Why old man Lee didn’t find the body sooner; why he found it lying on its face ; how he saw it from a place he could not have seen it from.

I was raised with niggers and know something about them. I do not know them as well as the police, perhaps, for they know them like no one else. But I know something about them. There must have been a nigger in the crime who knew about it before Newt or anyone else. I am afraid Newt knew.

The thing that arises in this case to fatigue my indignation is that men born of such parents should believe the statement of Conley against the statement of Frank. Who is Conley? Who was Conley as he used to be and as you have seen him? He was a dirty, filthy, black, drunken, lying nigger. Black knows that. Starnes knows that. Chief Beavers knows it.

Who was it that made this dirty nigger come up here looking so slick? Why didn’t they let you see him as he was? They shaved him, washed him and dressed him up.

Cut out Conley and you strip the case to nothing. Did you hear the way Conley told his story? Have you ever heard an actor, who knew his Shakespearean plays, his “Merchant of Venice” or his “Hamlet”? He can wake up at any time of the night and say those lines, but he can’t say any lines of a play he has never learned. So it was with Conley. He could tell the story of the disposition of the girl’s body, and he knew it so well he could reel it off backward or forward, any old way, but when you got to asking him about other things, he always had one phrase, “Boss, ah can’t ‘member dat.”

Was it fair for two skilled white men to train that negro by the hour and by the day and to teach him and then get a statement from him and call it the truth? Well, Professors Black and Scott finished with him, and they thought Conley’s education was through, but that nigger had to have a university course!

Scott, you and Black milked him dry; you thought you did, anyhow, but you got no moral perversion and no watching. In the university they gave a slightly different course. It was given by Professors Starnes and Campbell. Oh, I wish I could look as pious as Starnes does. And Professor Dorsey helped out, I suppose. I don’t know what Professor Dorsey did, only he gave him several lessons, and they must have been just sort of finishing touches before he got his degree. Well, in the university course they didn’t dare put the steps in writing, as they had done in the high school; it would have been too easy to trace from step to step, the suggestions made, the additions and subtractions here and there. Professor Dorsey had him seven times, I know that, but God alone knows how many times the detectives had him.

Was it fair to take this weak, pliable negro and have these white men teach him, one after another? Who knows what is the final story that Conley will tell? He added the mesh bag when he was on the stand.

In comparison to the others, the closing argument of Hugh Dorsey (prosecution) was very long. It is available online at Arguments of Hugh M. Dorsey in the Leo Frank Murder Trial, at archive.org.

They have maligned and abused me; they have abused the detectives; they have heaped calumny on us to such an extent that that good lady, the mother of this defendant, was so wrought up that she arose* and in this presence denounced me as a dog.

Prejudice and Perjury! Gentlemen, do you think that I, or that these detectives are actuated by prejudice? Would we as sworn officers of the law have sought to hang this man on account of his race and religion, and passed up Jim Conley, a negro? Prejudice! Prejudiced, when they arrested Gantt and released him? Prejudiced, when they had Newt Lee? No. But when you get Frank, then you have got prejudice at the same time.

Defense First Mentioned Race.

Now let’s see about this thing. These gentlemen were disappointed because this case wasn’t pitched on that theory. Not a word emanated from this side, not a word indicating any feeling against, any prejudice against, any human being, black or White, jew or Gentile. We didn’t feel it, we would despise ourselves if we had appeared in this presence and asked you to render a verdict against any man, black or White, jew or Gentile, on account of prejudice. But, ah! the first time it was ever brought into this case, — and it was brought in for a purpose, and I have never seen any two men manifest more delight or exultation than Messrs. Rosser and Arnold, when they put the questions to George Kendley at the eleventh hour. A thing they had expected us to do and which the State did not do because we didn’t feel it and because it wasn’t in this case. I will never forget how they seized it, seized with avidity the suggestion, and you know how they have harped on it ever since. Now, mark you, they are the ones that mentioned it, not us; the word never escaped our mouth.

Tribute to Jewish Race.

I say to you here and now that the race from which that man comes is as good as our race. His ancestors were civilized when ours were cutting each other up and eating human flesh; his race is just as good as ours, — just so good but no better. – I honor the race that has produced a D’Israeli, — the greatest Prime Minister that England has ever produced; I honor the race that produced Judah P. Benjamin, — as great a lawyer as ever lived in America or England, because he lived in both places and won renown in both places. I honor the Strauss brothers, — Oscar, the diplomat, and the man who went down with his wife by his side on the Titanic. I roomed with one of his race at college; one of his race is my partner, I served with old man Joe Hirsch on the Board of Trustees of the Grady Hospital. I know Rabbi Marx but to honor him, and I know Doctor Sonn, of the Hebrew Orphans’ Home, and I have listened to him with pleasure and pride.

But, on the other hand, when Becker wished to put to death his bitter enemy, it was men of Frank’s race he selected. Abe Hummel, the lawyer, who went to the penitentiary in New York, and Abe Keuf, who went to the penitentiary in San Francisco; Schwartz, the man accused of stabbing a girl in New York, who committed suicide, and others that I could mention, show that this great people are amenable to the same laws as you and I and the black race. They rise to heights sublime, but they sink to the depths of degradation.

The two overarching explanations of this case were fleshed out, debated and decided on a hundred years ago. Either Frank murdered Phagan, and to defend himself he tried, among other things, to frame Newt Lee and then Jim Conley. Or Conley murdered Phagan, and framed Frank, with the aid of the police, the private detective Frank hired, the prosecutors and all twelve men on the jury.

After looking into the details of the case I agree with the decision the jury arrived at. The evidence and argument that Frank murdered Mary Phagan has more merit than any other explanation. It not only better fits the evidence, but better explains why the prosecution proceeded as they did, and the jury decided as they did, in spite of Jim Conley’s bad character.

That Conley was a depraved lecherous brutal lying negro “as ever lived in the state of Georgia” does not imply Frank could not have been the murderer. Why does anyone argue as if it does? Because they have no better argument to make.

Slaton tried to save Frank’s life. He didn’t argue against Frank’s guilt.

The jewish narrative has always been that Frank was innocent, “falsely accused, wrongly convicted, wantonly murdered”. In fact Frank was rightly accused, convincingly convicted, and justly punished. Despite extraordinary efforts to thwart it, the sentence which was very deliberately considered and handed down was correctly carried out in the end.

Leo Frank, and those who defend him, should never be forgiven. Mary Phagan, the girl whose life was cut short, should never be forgotten.

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The Murder of Mary Phagan – Part 9

The testimony of Jim Conley, the negro sweeper at the National Pencil Company, was a major portion of the second and third weeks of the Leo Frank trial. Cross-examination alone amounted to some 13 hours.

Returning to the Conley-related points in 100 Reasons Leo Frank Is Guilty, The American Mercury, by Bradford L. Huie:

55. Much is made by Frank partisans of Georgia Governor Slaton’s 1915 decision to commute Frank’s sentence from death by hanging to life imprisonment. But when Slaton issued his commutation order, he specifically stated that he was sustaining Frank’s conviction and the guilty verdict of the judge and jury: “In my judgement, by granting a commutation in this case, I am sustaining the jury, the judge, and the appellate tribunals, and at the same time am discharging that duty which is placed on me by the Constitution of the State.” He also added, of Jim Conley’s testimony that Frank had admitted to killing Mary Phagan and enlisted Conley’s help in moving the body: “It is hard to conceive that any man’s power of fabrication of minute details could reach that which Conley showed, unless it be the truth.”

The following points get at Frank and Conley’s special relationship before the murder:

81. The relationship of Leo Frank and the National Pencil Company to Jim Conley was a strange one. Why was Jim Conley’s sweeper’s salary much higher — $6.05 versus $4.05 — than the average of the white employees, many of whom were skilled machine operators? Could it be that Conley served a very important but secret purpose for Leo Frank, exactly as the prosecution alleged? Could he have had knowledge that could potentially hurt Leo Frank, justifying Frank granting him special privileges?

82. According to a female National Pencil Company employee, Jim Conley was once caught “sprinkling” (urinating) on the pencils, surely a very serious offense. But Conley was never fired. (Trial Testimony of Herbert George Schiff, Brief of Evidence, Leo Frank Trial, August, 1913) Again, could it be that James Conley served a very important but secret purpose for Leo Frank, and could he have possessed knowledge that could damage Frank?

83. According to fellow employee Gordon Bailey (Leo Frank trial, Brief of Evidence, August, 1913) Jim Conley was not always required to punch the time clock. Why would the “Negro sweeper,” as they called him, surely the lowest-ranking employee in the pencil factory hierarchy, be given such an unprecedented privilege by Leo M. Frank? Why was Jim Conley the only person out of the 170 factory employees who didn’t have to punch the time clock — unless Jim Conley was more than meets the eye?

The Leo Frank Trial: Week Two, The American Mercury, by Bradford L. Huie:

Prior to the trial, Jim Conley had made one admission after another under the withering blast of police interrogation. He would make three statements in all, in each one admitting to more and more participation in the crime. Despite his slow, reluctant, and grudging admissions — and the obvious contradictions among his initial affidavits — investigators, and even some who had been doubtful about Conley’s account, were finally convinced that they had gotten the truth out of him. Police and factory officials accompanied Conley when he was brought back to the scene of the crime. Conley guided them through the factory and recounted and re-enacted the events of April 26, 1913 — the day of the murder — step by step as he had experienced them. The account was so minute in its details, so consistent with the known facts, so precisely matched with evidence which Conley could not possibly have known about unless he had really been there, and presented in such an open and frank manner that even skeptics were convinced by it.

Conley’s own explanation:

As to why I didn’t tell it all, I didn’t want to tell it all. I was intending to hold back some. I didn’t want to tell it all right at one time. I just told a little and kept back a little. Yes, and Mr. Dorsey went down seven times while I was telling some and holding back some. They didn’t ask me to take back any stories. No, it didn’t take Mr. Dorsey seven times to tell the story. Yes, I said I added to it every time he went down. But he wouldn’t came back and try to do anything with it.

Frank’s defenders had their chance to question Conley, and the jury still found him credible:

Conley held up well under the ferocious attack of the defense. He freely admitted that he had been confused on a few occasions and had lied in his first two statements — first, to protect himself, and second to protect Frank, who he still expected would come up with bail money and get him out of town — and he also provided a wealth of new detail about Leo Frank’s “chats” with young women.

Frank’s defenders tried to play one group of goyim against another:

At one point, Frank’s attorney Luther Rosser, referring to the recent haircut and clean set of clothes that Conley had been given, snidely remarked “They put some new clothes on you so the jury could see you like a dressed-up nigger” — possibly inflaming racial feelings among the all-White jury. It was widely believed at the time that Conley would be disbelieved by many simply because he was black and because Leo Frank, a white man, and Frank’s attorneys would contradict Conley and accuse him of the murder — a woe be unto any black man in 1913 Atlanta accused of harming a white girl.

Nevertheless Conley, a simple and poorly educated man, gave not an inch on his most damaging claims against Frank even when the most skilled attorneys money could buy cross-questioned him for more than 13 hours.

The Leo Frank Trial: Week Three, The American Mercury, by Bradford L. Huie:

Herbert G. Schiff, the factory’s assistant superintendent directly under Leo Frank, then testified, stating that he’d never seen women brought to the office as the prosecution had alleged, nor had he seen Conley “watching” for Frank. He stated that he, not Frank, had paid off Helen Ferguson the Friday before the murder, and that Ferguson has not asked for Mary Phagan’s pay. He also went into excruciating detail — thousands of words’ worth — about how the books were kept at the factory, with the unstated implication being that Frank would have simply been too busy calculating sums and making entries to have entertained young ladies — or killed them. This “too busy” line of reasoning would be returned to again and again by the defense, and would form the larger part of Leo Frank’s own statement in his own defense. It was reinforced by the next witness, public accountant Joel Hunter, and yet another accountant, C.E. Pollard.

Several workers at the factory, testifying for the defense, said they’d never seen Leo Frank talking to Mary Phagan, that they’d never seen him with women in his office after hours, and that Conley’s reputation for veracity was bad. One of them, Iora Small, went further, volunteering for the benefit of the all-white jury that “I don’t know of any nigger on earth that I would believe on oath.”

Prosecution witnesses claimed they saw X. Rather than directly attack the veracity of that testimony the defense tried to cloud the issue by producing witnesses who claimed they didn’t see X. The jury, who heard both sides in full detail, found X more credible than not-X.

The motives of Frank’s defenders, including the witnesses who testified in his favor, have at least three components: ethnic jewish loyalty, employer/financial fealty, and “white” racial solidarity (i.e. Whites mistaking jews as comrade “whites”).

The lengthy parade of sworn witnesses, called by both sides, is itself mute testimony to the fact that Leo Frank, vice president of his college debate club, would not testify under oath so as to avoid direct questioning in front of the jury.

A comment on Part 5 directed me to Carlos Porter’s opinion on Frank, LETTER 29 FROM CHICAGO DAVE: SKUNKIE AND THE LEO FRANK FILE:

In my view there is no real evidence against [Leo] Frank. All the so-called evidence comes from Conley, the man who wrote the notes found with the body, and who was CONVICTED AS AN ACCESSORY TO THE MURDER. No attempt was made to imitate the victim’s handwriting, but the police were supposed to find the notes, believe they were written by the victim during commission of the crime, and throw suspicion on a “long tall black negro” (Conley was short and powerfully built).

The police weren’t stupid enough to believe that the victim wrote the notes, but they were stupid enough to believe Conley when he claimed that Frank “dictated” the notes. Why the hell would Frank do that? How the hell COULD he do that? Would you do that if YOU committed a murder? Then they were stupid enough to coach Conley in his testimony for weeks and months to frame Frank for the murder! There is no question that Conley wrote the notes.

Whoever wrote those notes committed the murder. Conley could commit the murder without Frank, but Frank could not commit the murder without Conley.

Frank produced almost 40 witnesses who testified that Conley was a notorious liar. He was also a habitual petty criminal and drunkard who had been on the chain gang several times.

I repeat: if you committed a murder, would YOU write notes like that? Would you DICTATE notes like that? COULD you dictate notes like that? Would you believe a semi-literate drunkard who claimed he wrote those notes because they were dictated by an educated man?

It proves that people believe what they want to believe, regardless of the evidence.

They convicted him to show that “Georgia justice cannot be bought and sold with Jew money from New York”.

I don’t entirely trust anything on the Internet about the Frank case. In most ways, the commutation file is the best.

Porter links to his transcription of a scanned version of Governor John Slaton’s typewritten commutation of Frank’s sentence:

Read the files, OK, there are 29 of them, but there’s not much text on each page. [Note: I transcribed them.]

Appended to this transcript, governor slaton – leo frank commutation file, is a concise summary of Porter’s opinion:

The circumstantial evidence, in my mind, is inconclusive; so is the character evidence. If Frank had been convicted on circumstantial evidence alone, the case would be unclear. The evidence provided by Conley — particularly, the death notes — proves, in my view, that Frank’s guilt is not only out of the question, but absolutely impossible.

That’s the way I feel today, and I’ve felt that way for 30 years.

From the arguments and evidence I have considered so far, I think Frank was guilty. I’m still willing to examine arguments and evidence to the contrary, but in this case the notion that inconclusive evidence can prove anything, much less prove it absolutely, seems particularly ridiculous.

Porter’s argument in favor of Frank is reminiscent of Johnny Cochran’s infamous closing argument in defense of O.J. Simpson: “if it doesn’t fit, you must acquit”. The gist of it is to focus on one aspect of the prosecution’s case, claim there is something wrong with it, and jump to the conclusion that the defendent must be innocent.

Stephen Goldfarb used a similar kind of illogic in “Framed” (discussed in The Murder of Mary Phagan – Part 4). Goldfarb makes the outrageous attempt to paint Harry Scott and Hugh Dorsey as scoundrels in order to exhonerate Frank. Porter selects Conley, a far easier mark, for the same end.

The essence of Porter’s argument is: 1) Frank was convicted only because of Conley’s testimony, 2) Conley wrote the murder notes, 3) Conley was a liar, 4) Conley lied about Frank dictating the murder notes, therefore 5) “Frank’s guilt is not only out of the question, but absolutely impossible”.

Point 1, Porter’s assertion that “there is no real evidence against [Leo] Frank. All the so-called evidence comes from Conley”, is plainly false. Conley’s testimony played a critical, perhaps even decisive role in Frank’s conviction, but it was not the only evidence presented against Frank. Frank was arrested and indicted before it was known who wrote the murder notes, much less who conceived them or why. Porter himself points approvingly to Slaton, who described other important evidence against Frank that was unrelated to Conley.

Points 2 and 3 were conceded by Conley and known to the jury.

Point 4 is the heart of Porter’s argument. It is indeed plausible that Conley decided what to write. Frank may have only suggested that Conley write something implicating someone else. Conley might have even come up with the idea himself. Perhaps at first Conley understood the notes as a way to help save his boss, but lied about in court to help implicate his boss because by then it had become clear he needed to save himself.

So what? Even if there is truth in such speculation, it is not necessarily incompatible with the rest of Conley’s story, much less the prosecution’s overall case against Frank.

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The Murder of Mary Phagan – Part 8

More on the asymmetry of “anti-semitism”, the jews and violent crime, Nathan Swartz as a direct precedent for Leo Frank, and Jim Conley.

There is no equivalence between Whites and jews because there is no equivalence between hosts and parasites. Thus trying to hold a jew like Frank accountable for a crime is “anti-semitism”. And recognizing that jews are coming to a jew’s defense because they are jews is also “anti-semitism”. “Anti-semitism”, properly understood, is anti-parasitism.

Non-jews sometimes assume that jews must be paranoid to think that everyone is out to get them. Psychological projection gets closer to the truth. The jews imagine everyone around them has the kind of tribal/ethnic/racial loyalty they do and are as furtive about it as they are. Their complaints about “anti-semitism”, as if it is some kind of cohesive anti-jewish sentiment, even when it obviously isn’t, are a reflection of their own solidarity.

The asymmetry is especially obvious when jews complain about “anti-semitism” in people who obviously don’t hate, oppose, or even seem to recognize the jews for what they are. Like the relatively racially aware Southern Whites who, at least until the spectacle the jews made of themselves during the Frank trial, respected and welcomeed the jews and regarded them as “white”. Yet even before the Frank trial the jews saw themselves as separate and distinct.

More on Scott Aaron’s Why I Write and comments quoted in 100 Reasons Leo Frank Is Guilty.

How to reconcile the jewish line on Frank:

Wrongly accused, Falsely convicted, Wantonly murdered.

with Aaron’s description of how White Southerners viewed jews:

If anything, they were seen as an unusually industrious, intelligent, and law-abiding segment of society, even if they were a bit peculiar in their religious views.

The way to reconcile it is to recognize that Whites made a terrible mistake, they thought this supposedly industrious, intelligent, law-abiding segment of their “white” society was only peculiar because of religious views. They didn’t realize that those “religious views” boiled down to a separate identity, hostile to Whites, which viewed Whites as a host, as the Other. Whites made the mistake of trusting jews, of thinking jews saw themselves as part of White society.

Jews, furthermore, were not known for violent acts or crimes, nor feared as violators of white women.

Indeed, jews aren’t known for violent crimes commited on a whim, impulsively, and especially not in contrast with blacks. Jews are however known for intelligent, meticulous planning – the kind required for political violence and premeditated crime, especially in the context of a larger gain, to advance group interests.

The jewish crime syndicate known as Murder, Inc. provides a stark example of the jewish capacity for violence moderated by a cold, calculating sensitivity to group interests:

Probably their most well known victim was Dutch Schultz, who had openly defied the syndicate. In October 1935, Schultz insisted on putting a hit on Dewey, who was leading an all-out effort to put the mob out of business. The syndicate board overruled Schultz. They feared – with good reason – that Dewey’s murder would incite public outrage and result in an even greater campaign to shut down the rackets. Schultz vowed that he would ignore the board’s decision and kill Dewey himself.

The board decided they needed to act immediately to kill Schultz before he killed Dewey. Therefore in an ironic twist Buchalter actually saved Dewey’s life, which allowed Dewey to continue his efforts to bring down Buchalter. This led Shapiro to suggest years later that Schultz should have been allowed to kill Dewey, although at the time he supported the syndicate’s decision to overrule Schultz.

Another example comes from Russia. From STALIN’S WILLING EXECUTIONERS – JEWS AS A HOSTILE ELITE IN THE USSR, Kevin MacDonald’s review of Yuri Slezkine’s book The Jewish Century:

The Gulag was headed by ethnic Jews from its beginning in 1930 until the end of 1938, a period that encompasses the worst excesses of the Great Terror. They were, in Slezkine’s words, “Stalin’s willing executioners” (p. 103).

America’s Jewish Enigma: Louis Marshall – Episode 81 covers The International Jew, Chapter 76, from The Dearborn Independent issue of 26 November 1921:

Louis Marshall has appeared in all the great Jewish cases.

The case of Leo Frank, a Jew, charged with the peculiarly vicious murder of a Georgia factory girl, was defended by Mr. Marshall. It was one of those cases where the whole world is whipped into excitement because a Jew is in trouble. It is almost an indication of the racial character of a culprit these days to note how much money is spent for him and how much fuss is raised concerning him. It seems to be a part of Jewish loyalty to prevent if possible the Gentile law being enforced against Jews. The Dreyfus case and the Frank case are examples of the endless publicity the Jews secure in behalf of their own people.

[Marshall] works on the principle that “the Jew can do no wrong.”

Jewish publicity did to Georgia what it did to Russia ~ grossly misrepresented it, and so ceaselessy as to create a false impression generally.

When Russia fell, Louis Marshall hailed it with delight. The New York Times begins its story on March 19, 1917:

“Hailing the Russian upheaval as the greatest world event since the French Revolution, Louis Marshall in an interview for the New York Times last night said” ~ a number of things, among which was the statement that the events in Russia were no surprise. Of course they were not, the events being of Jewish origin, and Mr. Marshall being the recipient of the most intimate international news.

Even the new Russian revolutionary government made reports to Louis Marshall, as is shown by the dispatch printed in the New York Times of April 3, 1917, in which Baron Gunzburg reports what had been done to assure to the Jews the full advantage of the Russian upheaval.

This glorification of the Jewish overthrow of Russia, it must be remembered, occurred before the world knew what Bolshevism was

This TIJ account, it must be remembered, occurred before Stalin’s willing executioners had even done their dirtiest work.

The murder of 12-year-old Julia Connors by a jew named Nathan Swartz in New York City in the summer of 1912 is a direct precedent. All but forgotten today, the crime was nationwide news at the time and no doubt still fresh in many minds when Leo Frank was accused of murdering Mary Phagan less than a year later.

The main difference is that Swartz confessed. He confided first in his father, who advised him to kill himself. Instead he got a change of clothes from his brother and absconded. Twelve days after the murder Swartz was found dead. He wrote notes admitting he had committed the murder, but denying he was responsibile.

A good summary of the case is provided in an article on SEXUAL CRIMES in Medical Art and Indianapolis Medical Journal, Volume 16, p402, published in January 1913:

Much present interest is attached to the recent brutal murder of little Julia Connors by Nathan Swartz. The details of this case are so fresh in the public mind through the secular press that a mere summary of the facts will suffice here.

At 5:30 p. m., on July 6, 1912, Swartz accidentally met Julia Connors, twelve years of age, but unusually well developed, a girl whom he did not know. Swartz accosted her and allowed her to look through an opera glass which he had in his hand. He lured her to flat occupied by his parents and their family. As soon as she passed the door he seized her by the throat, overpowered her, and threw her to the floor, when she became insensible. He then carried her to the roof and from there down a vacant flat in the adjoining house and into a bath room. In this flat he made about twenty jabs in her back with a knife, slashed her throat and forearms, and stabbed her in the heart. At about half past nine o’clock he thought the child was dead. He had stripped her, in his father’s flat, of her clothing, except a “union suit.” It was found that he had made forty-one rents in this garment with his knife. He then returned to his father’s flat and procured a soap box, which he carried to the place of the murder. He crowded the girl and her clothing into this box, having cut off a great part of her hair.

The details of the finding of the girl the next morning barely alive, her death soon after, and the action of the police have no scientific importance.

The day after the murder and after the body had been found, Swartz, of his own accord, confessed the crime to his father. His father gave him $1.25 to buy a pistol and told him to kill himself and save the family further disgrace. Swartz then disappeared. On the morning of July 18th, twelve days after the murder, he was found dead in a lodging house, having committed suicide by inhaling illuminating gas. In an open letter, unsigned and unaddressed, the general contents of which seem perfectly rational, he wrote:

“I want to say that if I will happen to be revived in order to be executed, why, I will take that medicine just the same. * * * I’m sorry I done it, but I got crazy as I often do and you can’t blame me nor any one.”

On an old linen collar he wrote: “I am guilty, and am insane. It was caused by the beautiful makeup of women.”

See also KILLED LITTLE GIRL, SWARTZ CONFESSED – Missing Man’s Father Breaks Down and Clears Up the Julia Connors Murder Case. – Front Page – NYTimes.com, 17 July 1912.

Jews acknowledge that somebody must have killed Mary Phagan. If (as they insist) it wasn’t Frank, then it must have been somebody else. Their preferred scapegoat is Jim Conley, the black sweeper at NPC.

100 Reasons Leo Frank Is Guilty | The American Mercury:

1. Only Leo Frank had the opportunity to be alone with Mary Phagan, and he admits he was alone with her in his office when she came to get her pay — and in fact he was completely alone with her on the second floor. Had Jim Conley been the killer, he would have had to attack her practically right at the entrance to the building where he sat almost all day, where people were constantly coming and going and where several witnesses noticed Conley, with no assurance of even a moment of privacy.

22. Jim Conley told police two obviously false narratives before finally breaking down and admitting that he was an accessory to Leo Frank in moving of the body of Mary Phagan and in authoring, at Frank’s direction, the “death notes” found near the body in the basement. These notes, ostensibly from Mary Phagan but written in semi-literate Southern black dialect, seemed to point to the night watchman as the killer. To a rapt audience of investigators and factory officials, Conley re-enacted his and Frank’s conversations and movements on the day of the killing. Investigators, and even some observers who were very skeptical at first, felt that Conley’s detailed narrative had the ring of truth.

23. At trial, the leading — and most expensive — criminal defense lawyers in the state of Georgia could not trip up Jim Conley or shake him from his story.

24. Conley stated that Leo Frank sometimes employed him to watch the entrance to the factory while Frank “chatted” with teenage girl employees upstairs. Conley said that Frank admitted that he had accidentally killed Mary Phagan when she resisted his advances, and sought his help in the hiding of the body and in writing the black-dialect “death notes” that attempted to throw suspicion on the night watchman. Conley said he was supposed to come back later to burn Mary Phagan’s body in return for $200, but fell asleep and did not return.

25. Blood spots were found exactly where Conley said that Mary Phagan’s lifeless body was found by him in the second floor metal room. [In the podcast I incorrectly dismissed this point as redundant with 27. I note now that the two points refer to two different sets of blood spots. – Tanstaafl]

26. Hair that looked like Mary Phagan’s was found on a Metal Room lathe immediately next to where Conley said he found her body, where she had apparently fallen after her altercation with Leo Frank.

27. Blood spots were found exactly where Conley says he dropped Mary Phagan’s body while trying to move it. Conley could not have known this. If he was making up his story, this is a coincidence too fantastic to be accepted.

28. A piece of Mary Phagan’s lacy underwear was looped around her neck, apparently in a clumsy attempt to hide the deeply indented marks of the rope which was used to strangle her. No murderer could possibly believe that detectives would be fooled for an instant by such a deception. But a murderer who needed another man’s help for a few minutes in disposing of a body might indeed believe it would serve to briefly conceal the real nature of the crime from his assistant, perhaps being mistaken for a lace collar.

29. If Conley was the killer — and it had to be Conley or Frank — he moved the body of Mary Phagan by himself. The lacy loop around Mary Phagan’s neck would serve absolutely no purpose in such a scenario.

30. The dragging marks on the basement floor, leading to where Mary Phagan’s body was dumped near the furnace, began at the elevator — exactly matching Jim Conley’s version of events.

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